France’s first agave festival, Autour de L’Agave, happens this month from 21 – 28 February with special flights, workshops and master classes at various bars around town plus a 2 day dedicated salon at the 1K hotel.
It wasn’t that long ago that lovers of Latin American products were bemoaning the lack of decent tacos and tequilas in Paris. While there were a few early options, it was really Candelaria that inspired a more mainstream taste (and demand) for Mexican and South American fare.
Now Agave lovers in the capital have a week’s worth of activities and tasting opportunities. Participating bars include some of the usual suspects such as Candelaria, Distrito Frances or La Perla. But there are plenty of other picks that aren’t agave focused like Castor Club, Sherry Butt or Dirty Dick, proving that tequila and mezcal can be serious business in this city and are no longer relegated to just Mexican and margarita joints. And while the bulk of the action takes place in Paris, bars in Lille, Montpellier and Marseilles are also taking bar.
The festival focuses on about 2 dozen agave products which are mainly tequilas and mezcals, some of which are more familiar on the Paris bar circuit such as Calle 23 Tequila or Del Maguey mezcal, and lots of other lesser known names to discover. Plus, Estancia Raicilla and an agave syrup from The Iidea Company will be featured.
Saturday Bar Clandestino, the Mezcaleria of l’Hôtel 1k, is hosting the opening party for the two-day salon. Sunday welcomes the general public and begins with with an optional Franco/Latin-American brunch followed by workshops covering the featured distilled agave spirits as well as cocktails and cuisine. Monday is professionals’ day.